Osaka: Mirrors Set Up in Smoking Area to Improve Manners

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Mirrors camouflage a smoking area in Kita Ward, Osaka.

OSAKA — A smoking space surrounded by about 50 mirrored pillars has been set up at Umekita Sotoniwa Square on the north side of JR Osaka Station in Osaka City.

The inside is lined with mirrors as well, so smokers can see themselves smoking, and it is hoped this will spur them to improve their manners.

In addition, light is reflected off the mirrors and the inside of the smoking space cannot be seen. The design makes the smoking space harmonious with its surroundings.

Naohiro Matsumura, a professor at Osaka University who studies how devices installed throughout the city affect human behavior, came up with the idea together with Japan Tobacco Inc.

The space will be in use until around March as an experiment to examine the effects of improving manners and changing people’s image of smoking areas.

“I think if more people know there is a unique and interesting smoking space, it will attract attention and help people improve their manners,” Matsumura said.